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Concrete Corrosion

Last updated: July 19, 2024

What Does Concrete Corrosion Mean?

Concrete corrosion is the chemical, colloidal or physicochemical deterioration and disintegration of solid concrete components and structures, due to attack by reactive liquids and gases.

This type of corrosion causes widespread damage to critical sewage pipelines, bridges and other critical assets made of concrete. Coatings and other preventive measures are used to combat this type of corrosion. Different types of cements and production techniques are being developed to monitor and minimize damage.


Corrosionpedia Explains Concrete Corrosion

While concrete structures are corroded by chemical reaction, the steel reinforcement in many of these structures is corroded by electrochemical reaction.

Concrete corrosion is mainly caused by :

  • Salt water or acidic ground water
  • Microbes in sewer pipes
  • Sulphates
  • Chlorides
  • Nitrates
  • Fluorides
  • Sulphides
  • Industrial waste like slag and corrosive gases

Preventive measures include:

  • Paint application such as varnish, oil or lacquer-based paint
  • Surface treatment
  • Appropriate choice of cement mix and chemicals during cement production
  • Action to prevent attack of corrosive water or other liquids and gases

Biological sulfuric acid attack is a chronic problem in sewage pipes, leading to rapid deterioration of concrete. Because of the role of bacteria in the corrosion reaction, mechanical engineers have focused on the study of corrosion resistance of different concrete mixes in an effort to prevent this type of corrosion.


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